Bakkoo Backer Reward Preview:
Bakkoo backers can purchase our A.Brolly Tube, the lightest umbrella in the world, at our Early Bird price (£22) although the Early Bird has been sold out.
Concept and reason of creating the product
Did you ever come out of a subway station only to find that it is raining hard but you don’t have an umbrella with you? We aim to create an umbrella that is ultra-lightweight and small enough when folded so people can simply put it in their bag and forget about it until a hard rain suddenly falls.
Just imagine how light an umbrella has to be to fly like THIS:
Benefit of the product
Normally, what prevents people from bringing an umbrella with them are the extra weight they must carry around and the space an umbrella will occupy. The Tube (87g) weighs less than half of that of an iPhone 7 Plus (188g), and when folded, it is mere 20cm in length and 4cm in diameter, about 1/4 of a A5-size paper. The size and weight allow you to put it in your bags, suitcases or even jacket pockets adding almost no extra burden on you.
Engineering and design
To make the umbrella super lightweight and still strong, we use carbon fibers to make the ribs. Carbon Fibers are 17.15 times stronger than steel and yet 5 to 10 times lighter, which makes it very popular in aerospace, civil engineering, military, and motorsports, etc. However, they are relatively expensive when compared with similar fibers.
Carbon Fiber Weave. x1brett/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
We also developed a fabric that is about half the weight of normal fabric for the canopy, Furthermore, we design special molds to drill holes on the ribs and allow the use of lighter plastic to make the umbrella even lighter.
Aside from the lightness, our exclusive “WindBrace” technology allows the ribs to fold upward when the wind is too strong to withstand, so the rib will be unharmed and you can just flip it back and keep going.
The canopy is not only super lightweight, but is also equipped with our unique “AquaRepel” and “UVshield” capabilities. The “AquaRepel” is a water-repellency coating that allows users to quickly dry the canopy with one fling motion. The “UVshield“, meanwhile, provides UPF50+ protection under harsh sun.
While making our A.Brolly Tube ultra-lightweight, we also take good care of its quality. Carbon fiber, mainly used in aerospace, sport cars and professional sport equipment, is one of the lightest and strongest materials available for commercial use. We also re-designed the structures of the shaft and ribs so it won’t get destroyed even against strong wind. Our A.Brolly Tube is designed to hold up for 10 to 15 years under normal usage.
In order to protect our A.Brolly Tube during the internationally shipping, we specially designed a tube-shaped outer box, which is solid, colorful and seepage-proof.
In addition to the Tube umbrella, A.Brolly also present a foldable shopping bag made with the same fabric as the Tube canopy. It is lightweight, durable, and can support up to 10 pounds of item inside.
Risks and challenges
We made a few working prototypes that is functioning very well, but we are still looking to make some minor improvements. These samples were made with handmade and 3D printed parts to prove the concept and identify the tooling requirements.
Since we have been in the umbrella business for literally a 100 years, we are very familiar with the characteristics of the materials, structures and the tooling that will be used, and we are confident that the umbrella will be completed as designed.
Our partner is a manufacturer that we work with for over 30 years, which makes high-end umbrellas for top fashion brands with us. They have creativity, integrity and are excellent at what they do, and we will develop the final product together.
12/10/2017A.Brolly Tube – The World’s Lightest Umbrella: Bakkoo Backer Special$22.00
12/09/2017A.Brolly Tube – The World’s Lightest Umbrella: Bakkoo Backer Special$22.00
12/07/2017A.Brolly Tube – The World’s Lightest Umbrella: Bakkoo Backer Special$22.00